Minimum Wage: Labour Shuns Meeting with FG

Leaders of the organised labour on Sunday failed to attend the meeting convened by the Federal Government to continue negotiations on the national minimum wage for workers in the country.

Their absence notwithstanding, government continued the dialogue with the organised private sector at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, on Sunday in Abuja.

Mr Mustapha was joined by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, as well as the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.

The meeting followed a statement credited to Dr Ngige who revealed that the negotiation would be trailed by another meeting of the National Tripartite Minimum Wage Committee on Monday.

He had appealed to all members of the committee to attend the meetings in the interest of the nation and to find a solution to the minimum wage impasse.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had vowed not to budge on its demand of N30,000 minimum wage, stressing that that the only meeting its members would attend was the final meeting of the committee to finalise the whole process and submit it to President Muhammadu Buhari.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, insisted during an interview last week that there was no need for any negotiation anymore because the process had been completed, even as the state governors agreed to pay N22,500.

The governors’ proposal was strongly rejected by labour leaders who insisted that there was no going back on their decision to embark on a nationwide strike come November 6, despite a ruling by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) suspending the planned nationwide industrial action.

Justice Sanusi Kado gave the order on Friday while delivering a ruling on an ex-parte application pending the determination of the substantive suit filed by the Federal Government and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) against both unions.

While the judge fixed November 8 for the hearing of the main suit, the labour leaders seem undeterred in their bid to proceed on the strike as initially planned.

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